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British National Formulary (BNF) 71

71 (March 2016)

Published jointly by BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and Royal Pharmaceutical Society

The March 2016 British National Formulary (BNF) provides up-to-date, practical guidance on prescribing, dispensing, and administering medicines. This essential reference reflects current best practice as well as legal and professional guidelines relating to the uses of medicines.

Please note: NICE have altered their distribution arrangement for England, and eligible health professionals now receive one free print copy of BNF a year - the September issue - to supplement online access. The March edition is printed as usual, and you can buy your copy here.

BNF 71 (March 2016) has been revised and revalidated to reflect changes in product availability, emerging safety concerns and shifts in clinical practice. Access to the latest edition of the BNF is vital for healthcare professionals, as there are a large number of updates from one edition to the next.

Some of the significant content updates for BNF 71 include:
  • New safety information, including:
    • very low risk of subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus with proton pump inhibitors
    • risk of severe bradycardia and heart block when hepatitis C drugs taken with amiodarone hydrochloride
    • risk of diabetic ketoacidosis with sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors
    • increased reports of eye irritation since reformulation of latanoprost (Xalatan®)
  • Updated advice for further measures to minimise risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw associated with use of denosumab and intravenous bisphosphonates
  • Updated safety information on risk factors for uterine perforation associated with the use of intra-uterine contraception (intra-uterine contraceptive devices (copper) and levonorgestrel)
  • Inclusion of monitoring recommendations for risks of cardiac failure with crizotinib
  • Updates to immunisation schedule (Summer 2015): meningococcal group B vaccine, meningococcal groups A, C, W135 and Y vaccine, and influenza vaccine added
  • Addition of new preparations including Otezla® (apremilast), Kengrexal® (cangrelor), Velphoro® (sucroferric oxyhydroxide), and more
  • Significant dose changes including avanafil, colistimethate sodium (Promixin®), oseltamivir, and more

Improvements in the new edition

Since the launch of the new format BNF we have actively sought your comments and feedback, and as a result have made a number of improvements to the March edition.

These include:
  • The second colour on the book pages has changed back to the blue you prefer
  • We’ve addressed many of your issues with preparations
  • We’ve completely reviewed the indexing, including many new entries to make locating content easier
  • More information included in ‘prescribing and dispensing’, helping you select products more easily
  • A number of design features have been added and improved to aid navigation around pages.

The BNF evaluates clinical evidence from diverse sources with information validated by a network of clinical experts and published under the authority of a Joint Formulary Committee.

Content of the BNF reflects current best practice as well as legal and professional guidelines relating to the uses of medicines. The resource includes:

  • Guidance on the drug management of common conditions
  • Details of medicines prescribed within the UK with special reference to their uses, cautions, contra-indications, side-effects, doses and relative costs. This allows treatment to be tailored to the individual needs of each patient.
  • Guidance on prescribing, monitoring, dispensing and adminstering medicines.

The content is updated every 6 months in print, making it an up-to-date source of prescribing advice for informed decision-making.

From the reviews of the previous edition:

"The redesigned BNF remains an extensive and authoritative reference text for pharmacists and healthcare professionals.

...the indication and the dose for each drug monograph have been moved together. These two pieces of information are probably the most important for BNF users, and it is useful to be able to access this vital information quickly.

...The notes remain extensive, useful and have been simplified, with text about specific drugs being moved into the drug monographs, while text about treatment and use of drug classes remaining in the notes.

...One thing I particularly like is that all the information about the systemic use of one drug is in the same place. For example, all the uses for systemic prednisolone — asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, myasthenia gravis, proctitis and so on — can all be found on the same page.

...As ever, the BNF is its own best teacher. Get to know the new structure, use it frequently and it will soon become as familiar as the previous format."

Pamela Mason, The Pharmaceutical Journal, 19 October 2015

BNF Publications are now available via a money-saving print subscription.


Benefits of purchasing via subscription include:

  • Constant access to the latest medical information as it publishes
  • Significant financial savings on 1 and 2 year subscriptions, including package BNF/BNFC subscriptions
  • Removes the need for repeat ordering and allows you to receive your copy as soon as it is published.


Also available via all major subscription agents.


You can also access the BNF online.

If you are interested in discussing discounts available for bulk purchases of the BNF or any of our print titles please contact our sales team on:
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BNF 71

New product




ISSN 0260-535X

ISBN 978 0 85711 272 9

Published Mar 2016

210 x 148mm (1424pp)

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